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Welcome to the Physician Assistant Education Program

Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who work under the supervision of a physician. The goal of the PA program is to graduate physician assistants who are ready to enter the health-care workforce as adaptable, knowledgeable and competent health practitioners dedicated to life-long learning.

Physician assistant students pose in front of the physician assistant education program sign

What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who work with physicians to provide health care. Under the overall supervision of a physician, PAs take histories, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret tests, diagnose and treat illnesses, counsel on preventive health care and may assist in surgery. A PA’s practice may also include education, research and administration.

More information on the role of the Physician Assistant in Ontario can be found on the HealthForceOntario website.

What is a Physician Assistant?: HealthForceOntario
Students sitting in a classroom with learning materials in front of them

Who should apply?

If you are looking for a career in health care and are an energetic, self-motivated individual with a minimum of two years of university education this may be the program for you.

Who should apply?: Prospective Students
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Why should you come to McMaster?

McMaster University through its Faculty of Health Sciences and its medical, nursing, occupational, physiotherapy and midwifery programs has established a leading role in health care education in Canada. McMaster has a tradition of innovation in health-care education which began 40 years ago with the establishment of its revolutionary medical school using small group, problem-based, self-directed learning.

A group of people smile while wearing stethoscopes

Career information and after graduation

  • The program recommends all graduates register with the Canadian Physician Assistant Association (CAPA). CAPA is the professional body representing PAs and PA practice in Canada. Additional information is available on the CAPA website
  • PAEP graduates are eligible to challenge the National Certification Exam through the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC). Additional information is available on the CAPA website
  • PAEP graduates work in a variety of medical settings, including clinics, hospitals, and community settings. Graduates may also be interested in research, medical education, quality assurance, management, or administrative roles. Graduates may also choose to be employed in more than one setting depending on personal preferences (specialty of choice, combination of part time roles, role flexibility, etc.)
  • Health Professional Regulatory requirements change from province to province and are subject to change